One of comics' most senior figures, Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter, has been laid off by Disney.
According to the New York Times, this is part of a larger cost-cutting measure at the company. Disney will apparently be folding the Marvel Entertainment division - which focuses on comics and merchandise - into different parts of the company. Marvel Entertainment co-president Rob Steffens has also been let go.
Perlmutter has a long, storied and sometimes infamous history with Marvel and with Disney as a whole. The famously frugal billionaire was a member of the board of directors at Marvel Comics in April 1993 and helped steer the company through the 1990s. He became CEO in 2005 and was the executive responsible for selling Marvel Comics to Disney for $4 billion in 2009. He remained CEO of Marvel Entertainment following the acquisition, but did not take a seat on Disney's board of directors.
Despite his prominence, Perlmutter hasn't been heavily involved in the Marvel Studios movies since 2015, when he is said to have clashed with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige over the production of Doctor Strange. According to a CNBC interview with Disney CEO Bob Iger in February this year, Perlmutter was intent on firing Feige until Iger stepped in and "moved the movie-making operation of Marvel out from under Ike."
Perlmutter's ousting comes hot on the heels of the news that Disney is laying off approximately 7,000 employees, as part of a $5.5 billion cut intended to improve financial results. What this means for Marvel as a comics publisher remains to be seen.